Sunday, January 23, 2011

RACE REPORT: UMD 5000M 1/22/2011

Besides High School, I have never had a good 5000m race, ever.

I never ran up to my potential in college, was injured all the time, and just flat out didn't train right.

But the 5K is an event I do like. And I do have some speed. I knew it was only a matter of time before I got back to it, and on Jan 22, 2011, it was the day to annihilate my mediocrity in the event and show what I am made of. I had been training well in my track workouts and knew I was capable of 15:30 or faster.

I got to the race with an hour and a half to spare and warmed up with Ryan. We warmed up around the Redskins stadium, had a little chat about the race, and came back with the cold wind in our faces...I kept thinking how nice it was for once we were to race inside. The race was stacked with several 14:40 guys so like my roomate Joe said this was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the competition. Ryan was also looking to run 14:40s. There were to be 2 heats in the 5k. I was put in the faster heat, but there was some disorganization among the officials towards the beginning, and I was almost put in the 2nd heat...

The officials told me and a few others to go to the second heat, but I declined and said I was initially put in the faster heat. I looked at the guys in the first heat and knew some would beat me, but not all. I did not come out here to run another 16:00 5k..

I could run with these guys, I thought, be confident.

The night before I had watched "Without Limits" and thought of the scene where PRE in his comeback after the Olympics is nervous about running against Shorter, Kardong, and Lindgren in the 5000m, throws up, and says to Kenny Moore, "I can't run with these guys anymore, they're going to hand me my head." Then as he hears the announcement of a "name" the crowds cheer, Kenny says, "I think that's you." Pre ends up winning the race, beating the Marathon Olympic Champion Frank Shorter to the line in a new US 5000m National Record.

After basically forcing the officials to let me run in the first heat, I toed the line. The gun went off and runners exploded. I was racing in my Nike Zoom Victories, a 3.1 ounce spike that is no doubt the lightest shoe I have ever run in. Dave(who suggested I wear the victories) was right, I thought, these shoes are made for me.

About 15 runners were in my heat, and 9 of them surged in front. Jake saw me and told me to stay relaxed and in control-i.e. not go out too fast. Still I went through the first lap in 35 seconds(4:40 pace) but got on pace from there on. Next lap was 37(perfect-right where I wanted to be). 2 laps in I felt the indoor air-it brought back memories. 10 years ago I ran in the State HighSchool Championship 3200m here. I was 7th in 10:08. Suddenly, I realized how much I had missed this. TRACK. Running FAST. SPIKES. I soaked it all in.

I went through the first mile in 4:58. Dead on pace. I felt a runner breathing right behind me. Good, I thought, I NEED someone to give me an edge since the pack ahead was just a tad fast for my pace. I broke the race up into sets of 8 laps, concentrating on maintaining each mile. I saw Beth and her family cheering for me every lap, which was awesome, it was great they came out to watch, and I was happy they were enjoying it.

The second mile is all about maintenance in the 5000m-you can't fall off your pace or else you are in trouble the last mile. I worked hard to keep it going-but also stayed calm. I caught a few runners who I wasn't sure whether they dropped off the pace or if I was lapping them. I think I caught one and lapped another. I maintained and hit 5:00 for the 2nd mile(9:58 3200m split), setting me up nicely to book it the last mile.

Now is where the pain starts. Time to push.

The 3rd mile was the race for me.

With 4 minutes left the AU leaders began to overlap me. I latched onto them and told myself to not let them go. I didn't.

You can run with these guys, Chris.

I went around again, and Jake yelled, "4 MINUTES OF PAIN LEFT SLOANE-YOU GOTTA WANT IT!"

4 MINUTES? THAT'S IT? I thought. Damn, I thought, I've run marathons telling myself I have 40 minutes left. This is cake.

I hung on to the AU leaders and pressured them to run faster. FASTER, I THOUGHT. PUSH IT!!!!

4 laps to go...

I began to kick with 3 laps left and knew I was on pace to break 15:30. With 1 lap to go the leaders were finishing and I began to sprint. I instantly thought of the frustrating Chicago Marathon I had and ran even harder...I began to see another runner I was able to catch on the straightaway...GET EM...


I surged and blew by the guy to finish 2 seconds ahead of him and crossed the line in 15:26.51, good for 10th overall. I Calculated my last mile must've been between 4:53-4:55, hard to say with the blistering last lap I had. Average pace overall was 4:58/mile. Technically, I PRed by 51 seconds...but this PR was long overdue. Jake said, "Once it settles, you'll realize how great you ran. Certainly your best(time) race of all time." Ironically, with the struggles I've had in the 5k(like the marathon), perhaps, yes, it may very well be.


1 Eustis, Colin SR American 14:30.00 14:44.11
2 Olsen, Josh JR American 14:30.00 14:46.90
3 Allen, Mark SO American 14:40.00 14:49.58
4 Williams, Ryan JR American 14:30.00 14:49.91
5 Hanson, Ryan Georgetown Runni 14:40.00 15:04.07
6 Leinenger, Mark SO American 14:30.00 15:07.07
7 McGee, Brandan FR UMBC 15:15.00 15:11.34
8 Cowing, TJ SO UMBC 15:00.00 15:12.39
9 Kidd, David SR Virginia Wes 15:45.00 15:17.84
10 Sloane, Chris Unattached 15:30.00 15:26.51
11 Whitson, Sean JR Virginia Wes 15:13.30 15:28.01
12 Pope, John FR American 14:45.00 15:44.55
13 Taylor, Ryan FR Shenandoah 16:05.00 16:27.05
14 Branson, Jeff FR Mary Washing 16:30.00 16:31.88
15 Harrison, Aaron FR Howard 15:08.00 16:35.54
16 Brown, David FR Lynchburg 16:18.00 16:43.13
17 Guo, Yufeng SR Johns Hopkin 16:46.55 16:57.21
18 Cicero, Craig SO Methodist 14:57.00 17:04.25
19 Keen, Trevor Unattached 15:58.00 17:14.23
20 Turner, Blake SO Mary Washing 16:40.00 17:14.69
21 Darley, Patrick SO Lynchburg 16:30.00 17:15.61
22 Pointer, Maurice Unattached 17:20.00 17:16.75
23 Tumolo, Benjamin SO Lynchburg 16:15.00 17:20.48
24 Chuang, James FR Johns Hopkin 17:00.00 17:51.60
25 Spangler, Colin FR Mary Washing 17:00.00 18:00.10
26 Giordano, Andrew SR Christopher 17:47.11 18:16.79
27 Wallace, Michael JR Bowie State 17:50.00 18:55.73


  1. Great race Chris.

    You looked like you had a lot left and I think you can "peal" more seconds off this distance if you wanted to master it more.

    What isn't mentioned is that Chris ran MOST of the race solo (ie - chasing a pack well ahead of him). Whenever you caught people, or people caught you, you had a lot more fight.